Hard mouth as as a hunting dog and trial dog.

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Stoneface
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Hard mouth as as a hunting dog and trial dog.

Post by Stoneface » Sat Jan 19, 2013 2:57 pm

First question is because I honestly don't know. Second question is just for your own personal opinion/preference.

1. In a trial/test, does the softness of a dog's mouth play into the retrieve score any? Is a dog docked points for being hard-mouthed?

2. How much do you, STRICTLY AS A HUNTER (tests/trials aside) dislike a hard-mouthed dog? Would you rather have a dog with a mouth like a bone-crunching vice or not have him retrieve at all?

Steve007
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Re: Hard mouth as as a hunting dog and trial dog.

Post by Steve007 » Sat Jan 19, 2013 3:14 pm

Stoneface wrote:. How much do you, STRICTLY AS A HUNTER (tests/trials aside) dislike a hard-mouthed dog? Would you rather have a dog with a mouth like a bone-crunching vice or not have him retrieve at all?
well, not retrieving at all can be fixed if you're willing to put the time into it or pay a professional to do so. Some will say that hardmouth can be fixed in the same way. Could be. But I have sympathy for the dog that doesn't retrieve. I figure it's not his fault, and I have to help him through it (if it's my dog). Hardmouth just seems to me like a character flaw, even though I realize that sometimes it's not.

I had a buddy with a dog that wouldn't retrieve a dead bird, but if it was a cripple (upland), he'd get the bird and hold it down without hurting it until you got there. Effective, at least, and he was a nice dog. My friend was happy with him.

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Re: Hard mouth as as a hunting dog and trial dog.

Post by cjhills » Sat Jan 19, 2013 3:23 pm

Hard mouth in a hunt test is a DQ if the bird is unfit for the table. I can't have either extreme hard mouth or no retrieve. If they can't be fixed they are gone. Conditioned retrieve generally fixes both. Cj

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tasi devil
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Re: Hard mouth as as a hunting dog and trial dog.

Post by tasi devil » Sat Jan 19, 2013 4:54 pm

Stoneface wrote:First question is because I honestly don't know. Second question is just for your own personal opinion/preference.

can't believe you need to ask these questions, but i'll take the bait.
1. In a trial/test, does the softness of a dog's mouth play into the retrieve score any? ........yes
Is a dog docked points for being hard-mouthed?..........yes

2. How much do you, STRICTLY AS A HUNTER (tests/trials aside) dislike a hard-mouthed dog? ............. scale of 1-10....10
Would you rather have a dog with a mouth like a bone-crunching vice or not have him retrieve at all ? .........fixed it for ya..........yes
i hunt for the table, this week we've eaten Venison, Quail, Duck, Pheasant, Rabbit & Goose. i expect & require the same behaviour from my dogs trialling or free hunting.
............tasi

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Re: Hard mouth as as a hunting dog and trial dog.

Post by slistoe » Sat Jan 19, 2013 5:48 pm

If it is a retrieving trial hard mouth is a DQ and for good reason.

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Re: Hard mouth as as a hunting dog and trial dog.

Post by Rockett » Sat Jan 19, 2013 11:31 pm

I've had a rotten time with my gsp who is now 9. We have been disqualified too many times for smashing birds, its embarrassing, it must be presentable for the table, and ours are just not acceptable. I've tried everything I could possibly do myself and maybe 1 out of 5 birds he may not put a tooth into. He was my first trial dog and i have learnt so much from him, he can do some beautiful work. He won't be running this year, I'm just focused on my pup, and extremely paranoid. Shorthairs seem to have a bad reputation for it here, but there are a lot who have beautiful soft mouths.

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Re: Hard mouth as as a hunting dog and trial dog.

Post by mountaindogs » Sat Jan 19, 2013 11:57 pm

Speaking from experience, I would rather TRAIN a non-retrieving dog than try to fix a hard mouth. But not sure if that's the breeding choice I would make. Still mulling it over, but frankly the more I learn about training the more natural soft mouth in a line or individual becomes important to me. That said, there is certainly a componant of human error to consider. How much encouraging of bad habits did or did not take place with the dog as a puppy... and such.

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Re: Hard mouth as as a hunting dog and trial dog.

Post by Rockett » Sun Jan 20, 2013 1:09 am

mountaindogs wrote:Speaking from experience, I would rather TRAIN a non-retrieving dog than try to fix a hard mouth. But not sure if that's the breeding choice I would make. Still mulling it over, but frankly the more I learn about training the more natural soft mouth in a line or individual becomes important to me. That said, there is certainly a componant of human error to consider. How much encouraging of bad habits did or did not take place with the dog as a puppy... and such.
Definitely a big factor, mine was obsessed with squeaky toys and god help it if he got a hold of it. This was back when we were not sure what we were going to do. I'm sure he thinks if he chomps hard enough it will squeak, and unfortunately real birds do occasionally!

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Re: Hard mouth as as a hunting dog and trial dog.

Post by romeo212000 » Sun Jan 20, 2013 1:38 pm

Can't speak about other formats, but in nstra your dog will get cut for hard mouth. Especially if it is chomping and you're getting mush back from the dog. I won't own a dog that does that, but its also something that can be fixed with FF.

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Hard mouth as as a hunting dog and trial dog.

Post by ACooper » Sun Jan 20, 2013 2:54 pm

romeo212000 wrote:but its also something that can be fixed with FF.
Sometimes

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mountaindogs
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Re: Hard mouth as as a hunting dog and trial dog.

Post by mountaindogs » Sun Jan 20, 2013 2:57 pm

ACooper wrote:
romeo212000 wrote:but its also something that can be fixed with FF.
Sometimes
Agree

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Re: Hard mouth as as a hunting dog and trial dog.

Post by romeo212000 » Sun Jan 20, 2013 5:53 pm

ACooper wrote:
romeo212000 wrote:but its also something that can be fixed with FF.
Sometimes
True. Sometimes when it's learned so much even FF might not do it. That's why I suggest not letting it become a habit to begin with.

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Re: Hard mouth as as a hunting dog and trial dog.

Post by MNspanielguy » Sun Jan 20, 2013 6:56 pm

Fix the dog after you fix the problem. Why pass it on?

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Re: Hard mouth as as a hunting dog and trial dog.

Post by romeo212000 » Sun Jan 20, 2013 7:14 pm

MNspanielguy wrote:Fix the dog after you fix the problem. Why pass it on?
Sometimes it's a learned problem.

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Doc E
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Re: Hard mouth as as a hunting dog and trial dog.

Post by Doc E » Sun Jan 20, 2013 7:24 pm

It doesn't matter if we're Training, Hunt Testing, Trialing or Hunting.
NO hardmouth is allowed. The birds MUST be fit for the table. They need to be delivered to hand in exactly the same condition they were in when the dog picked them up.



.

Waterdogs1
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Re: Hard mouth as as a hunting dog and trial dog.

Post by Waterdogs1 » Tue Jan 22, 2013 11:23 pm

I like my birds nice and edible so no hard mouths for me. If they can't do the whole job why have them when their are dogs that will.

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Re: Hard mouth as as a hunting dog and trial dog.

Post by campgsp » Wed Jan 23, 2013 3:40 am

Points are deducted for hard mouth. The bird must be fit for the table.

I currently have a dog that had a hard mouth. I mean she would pick a bird apart.
Ff fixed that. Now its right to the bird a quick scoop and back to hand.

There is nothing that can't be fixed with a little extra effort.

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Re: Hard mouth as as a hunting dog and trial dog.

Post by will-kelly » Wed Jan 23, 2013 9:34 am

1. In a trial/test, does the softness of a dog's mouth play into the retrieve score any? Is a dog docked points for being hard-mouthed?
I asked a friend who is a very successful trialer and judge. He said that the term hard mouth is to broad of a term. If a dog mishandles a bird there is a deduction. If the mouth is to soft and the bird is dropped on the way in there is a deduction. If the dog has a hard mouth/firm grip and no harm is done to the carcass of the bird then no deduction.
2. How much do you, STRICTLY AS A HUNTER (tests/trials aside) dislike a hard-mouthed dog? Would you rather have a dog with a mouth like a bone-crunching vice or not have him retrieve at all?
I am fortunate that I have never owned a hard mouthed dog. I have hunted with friends dogs that are and I find it annoying. It adds an element to the retrieve that makes it feel like a psychological and physical tug of war with the dog. The last time I hunted with a perticular friend's dog a bird he brought in had more teeth holes than bullet holes. Plus the skin had slid up the breast. The friggin' bird was a mess and when I mentioned it you would have thought I said something about the guys wife and not his hard mouthed GWP.

Firm grip Yes.

Hard mouth NO.

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Re: Hard mouth as as a hunting dog and trial dog.

Post by Trekmoor » Wed Jan 23, 2013 1:03 pm

In well over 50 years of training gundogs I have only had one hard mouthed dog of my own but have had a few of other peoples in for training. If a dog is naturally inclined to be hard mouthed then I cannot cure it. If something has happened to make a dog hard mouthed I sometimes can cure it .....if I know for certain what that "something" was.

I believe hard-mouth can be caused by nature or by nurture or a bit of both. If I know a dog is hard mouthed I will not take a pup from it for I cannot say for certain whether nature or nurture caused this in someone elses dog. I play safe and leave that breeding alone.

In Britain, even a couple of birds ribs "in" during a trial will either get you eliminated on the spot or, if the situation the dog picked the bird from was exceptionally difficult, the dog might get a second chance. It's a mugs game taking a hard mouthed dog to a trial here.

From a rough-shooting (upland hunting) point of view . If I had a hard mouthed dog and wanted to keep it then I would keep it...but I would pick up my own birds if I could. That requires a very steady non-running in dog. If a shot bird was a runner I'd send the dog. Better the bird is killed by the dog than for it to die a slow death.

Bill T.

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